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We have a steady stream of visitors heading eastward from Oregon, again, this summer.

*Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test…*

With Quality Time as my primary Love Language, I feel especially blessed when loved-ones are willing to travel- and use up vacation time– to hang with us.

Bestie Courtney & Busy-Bee Judah were our first guests of the year, back in March, but the rest are coming back-to-back, beginning with Husband’s beloved Aunt & Grandfather tonight.

Though our home certainly isn’t the biggest, nor the fanciest, we run a regular B&B out of our modest abode. Having been the recipient of amazing hospitality, myself, I make a conscious effort to have our guests feel welcome when they step inside our home. And I’m convinced that it doesn’t have to be elaborate to be inviting. 

The following are some practical ways that I try to make our guests feel at home during their stay with our crazy family:

We don’t actually have a dedicated guest room in our new house, but I still try to give most of our guests some semblance of privacy when they stay under our roof. This usually means a door. Ha!

Since Little Man frequently sneaks into our bed at night, anyway, his room is the go-to guest zone. We tuck away his toys, consolidate clothing to one side of his closet, and make him a nest in our master bedroom. Fresh linens go onto his bed for our guests and he gets a slumber party with Baba & Mama. Win-win!

Sleep habits vary so much from person to person, that I try to give lots of options in hopes that our guests are comfortable and well-rested…

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From providing layers of bedding that can easily be pared down or piled up, as preferred (this IS Montana, afterall!), to stacking several pillows of varying fluffiness. A few spare hangers go into the open (so they don’t feel awkward getting into it) closet and a water bottle on the bedside table. I also like to ensure there’s a fan in the room– in case our guests are addicted to white-noise, like my own family– and at least one cleared off tabletop (think suitcase) available.

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I try to anticipate our guests’ needs in other rooms of the house, as well…

For example: The bathroom. Can you imagine anything more embarrassing than having to ask your host for a plunger? Or more toilet paper? I cannot. I like to keep those items handy when guests are around, to spare them any undue embarrassment.

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I also put out a fresh bar of soap. Because, honestly, think about it…

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Moving to the kitchen, I’ve shared before about how I have a thing about clear countertops. I’m just not a toaster-out-24/7-kind-of-gal. But, when we have guests around, I attempt to lighten up and allow exceptions– especially for breakfast, since I’m not exactly the earliest riser usually dead to the world until about 7am. I don’t want our guests starving to death while they wait for me in the morning, my aim is for them to feel free to help themselves.

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Fact: Donuts look less trashy fancier on a cake plate than in a flimsy box.

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Besides having the toaster, fresh fruit, and donuts out, coffee/tea fixin’s at the ready, I sometimes hard boil eggs and bake a pan of link sausages ahead of time, for a wholesome breakfast that’s ready whenever guests awake. Sometimes I even set breakfast items to cook in the crockpot through the night. Easy-peasy!

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Final touches are more personalized. One of this week’s guests includes my Scrabble Nemesis, so I’ve got our game out and ready to go on the dining room table.

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It’s not fancy. It’s not rocket science. I just brazenly steal ideas from friends and family who have graciously housed my own family over the years. It’s a pay it forward kind of thing, as well as a command from God…

“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9 

What have I missed? Any other tips that YOU employ for making your home guest-ready?

*still recovering from Disneyworld

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